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AAC Power Rankings: Week 1

It wasn’t a good week overall for the league

Boise State v UCF
UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn
Photo by Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Week one is in the books and many members of the American Athletic Conference are regretting playing.

1. #8 Cincinnati Bearcats (1-0) (LW: -) - W vs. Miami (OH) 49-14

Syndication: The Enquirer
Cincinnati LB Darrian Beavers
Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The defending AAC champion took care of business, scoring on an 81-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game and never looked back. Desmond Ridder did an outstanding job starting the year with a bang, going 20/25 for 295 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. Next vs Murray State(1-0).

2. UCF Knights (1-0) (LW: -) - W vs. Boise State 36-31

NCAA Football: Boise State at Central Florida
UCF WR Titus Mokiao-Atimalala
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

UCF stumbled out of the gate, spotting Boise State a 21 point lead on two occasions before the Knights figured things out in the second half, scoring 22 points and securing the first win at UCF for Gus Malzahn. The Knights host Bethune-Cookman this weekend. Next vs Bethune-Cookman(0-1)

3. Tulane Green Wave (0-1) (LW: -) - L at #2 Oklahoma 40-35

NCAA Football: Tulane at Oklahoma
Tulane Linebacker Nick Anderson
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Tulane surprised everyone by holding their own against Oklahoma before falling short. Aside from being 32.5 point underdogs, this was supposed to be played in New Orleans. The game was moved to Norman as a result of hurricane damage. If the game never moved, we might have seen a different result Next vs Morgan State(0-1).

4. SMU Mustangs (1-0) (LW: -) - W vs. Abilene Christian 56-9

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Abilene Christian at SMU
SMU QB Tanner Mordecai
Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The highly anticipated debut of Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai did not disappoint as the quarterback threw seven touchdowns in a rout. He finished 24/30 for 317 yards with those seven touchdowns. Next vs North Texas(1-0).

5. Memphis Tigers (1-0) (LW: -) - W vs. Nicholls 42-17

Nicholls v Memphis
Memphis RB Brandon Thomas
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Despite give up an early touchdown, Memphis built a 29-7 halftime lead and never looked back. The Tigers never had to punt once and outgained Nicholls 587-299. Memphis scored on every drive until a failed fourth down conversion on the last full drive of the game. Next at Arkansas State(1-0)

6. East Carolina Pirates (0-1) (LW: -) - L at Appalachian State 33-19

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Duke’s Mayo Classic - East Carolina v Appalachian State
Appalachian State WR Thomas Hennigan
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Despite scoring first, ECU was outclassed by a better Appalachian State team ECU cut the game by ten in the final minutes, but the damage was done. Gunslinger Holton Ahlers kept the Pirates in the game, but it wasn’t enough as the defense gave up two one hundred yard rushers. Next vs South Carolina(1-0)

7. Houston Cougars (0-1) (LW: -) - L vs. Texas Tech 38-21

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Houston
Texas Tech Erik Ezukanma
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Dana Holgorsen era keeps looking more like a error as Texas Tech outscored Houston 31-0 in the second half en route to a big win. Three of the four Clayton Tune interceptions turned in to points for the Red Raiders, including one returned for a touchdown. Unlike East Carolina’s loss, Texas Tech wasn’t a good team last year, finishing 8th in the Big XII. Next at Rice(0-1).

8. Navy Midshipmen (0-1) (LW: -) - L vs. Marshall 49-7

NCAA Football: Marshall at Navy
Marshall QB Grant Wells
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

When Navy isn’t on their game, they are really not on their game. The option running offense can be very streaky and while they racked up 337 yards of rushing and 24 first downs, they could not put a drive together. Navy’s punting game wasn’t very good, averaging less than 30 yards on six punts, allowed the Thundering Herd to set up three drives on the Navy side of the field that yielded touchdowns. Next vs Air Force(1-0)

9. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-1) (LW: -) L vs. UC Davis 19-17

A loss to an FCS school is unforgivable. The reigning conference runner-up let a 4th quarter lead melt away as UC Davis hit a pair of short field goals to ultimately win. Tulsa lost the turnover battle 3-0 despite outgaining UC Davis 448-399. Going 2-10 on third down will do it. This kind of loss would normally be better team worthy, but the teams below looked even worse. Next at Oklahoma State(1-0).

10. Temple Owls(0-1) (LW: -) - L at Rutgers 61-14

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Temple at Rutgers
Rutgers LB Olakunie Fatukasi
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Losing to Rutgers is never good. Getting curbstomped by Rutgers is even worse. Temple gave up five turnovers, including a pick six and let a 26-14 deficit balloon out of control. The fact that Rutgers put up 61 points is why this loss isn’t worse than the FCS loss Temple suffered. Next at Akron(0-1).

11. South Florida Bulls (0-1) (LW: -) - L at NC State 45-0

NCAA Football: South Florida at North Carolina State
South Florida RB Jaren Mangham
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

While conventional wisdom says that Temple should be lower because they got whooped by Rutgers, South Florida delivered the only bagel in the American by giving us an embarrassing beatdown. NC State outgained South Florida 525-271 and the Bulls’ starting quarterback, Cade Fortin, went a whopping 7/20 for 41 yards and an interception. Next vs Florida(1-0).